Julia Byeon is a PhD candidate in Sociology with a diverse range of scholarship in medicine, genetics, and currently, the use of financial instruments in the extractive and commodity sectors. These avenues of research are linked by a desire to understand scientific and technological developments in social context.
Julia is currently studying the role of finance in the transition to green energy technologies. Many commentators note that a transition to electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and the like will be a material-intensive process, requiring the mining of vast volumes of elements across the periodic table. As new extractive projects are prepared across the globe, distant investors engage through a variety of financial instruments that facilitate exposure to the commodity sector. Julia seeks to understand this intersection between finance and extraction, and more specifically, the implications of financialization for the consumption of natural resources and the transition to green energy.
Prior to joining Princeton Sociology, Julia completed a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where she investigated social and ethical issues related to genetic technologies. Here, she studied the use of racial and ethnic categories in genetics research and the potential for emerging genetic therapies to exacerbate health inequities.